Are You Courting Mediocrity?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 18, 2014
This past week I had the honor of doing an online interview with a guy named Richard Rierson of Dose Of Leadership, a site where he’s listed over 100 podcasts he’s done with leaders in many industries, as well as people who talk about leadership. He did one with me back in September and I’m #93 on his list, which I’m proud of.
I asked him a question based on an article I wrote on this blog in June about reasons people don’t want to be leaders, wanting his opinion on it. One of the concepts he mentioned during his response was how it seems so many people are ready to aim for mediocrity, even if they don’t necessarily see that’s what they’re doing, instead of trying to make more out of their lives, or even striving in some fashion for what they really want.
I agreed with him and added that there are many people who say all they want is to be comfortable, and that “comfortable” isn’t a measurable goal because there are way too many variables that impact it. For instance, does it mean you only want to make enough money to pay your bills, buy food and watch TV? Does it mean you don’t ever want to buy new things, or travel, or participate in any extracurricular activities? What does that mean for your family, if you have kids or parents to take care of? Is there an assumption that everyone will always be healthy and that there won’t be any doctor or dentist visits?
I was thinking about things in terms of leadership, but Richard said that even if one’s dream was to find a beach and teach people how to surf, even if one didn’t make a lot of money from it, at least there’s a person who’s gone for their goal in life, and if all you want to do is surf and teach surfing that could be quite a fulfilling life.
I found that to be an incredible point and something I hadn’t thought about in a long while. My goals are all associated with monetary value; my figure of $10 million as my “comfort goal” would allow me to do so much more without any worries. But if I had gone the route of being a professional musician or songwriter, which was my goal back in 1981, and continued doing it though I didn’t make tons of money, is it possible that would have been my dream goal, and thus I’d have been living the perfect life for me?
Probably not! lol Still, it was a nice dream back then and something that would have been a lot of fun, but of course I’ve always wanted more. As a musician the best I’d have ever been would have been mediocre; as a singer/songwriter… well, the jury’s still out on that one. But I think I’ve been better at what I’ve done in the last 12 years than I’d have ever been doing something else, and I’ve always shot for better than mediocre.
What are your thoughts on this? While you’re contemplating things why not check out the interview? It really was a good time, and Richard had lots of good stuff to say: